Are You Twitter Selfish?

Twitter’s really been getting a lot more attention lately. When I did the interview on Sunday, we talked a lot about Twitter, and the habits, or lack thereof, for some people who are there in some capacity.

When I wrote my post back in February on why I don’t follow some twitter people, I highlighted some thing that were bothering me about how some people were using it at the time. It never crossed my mind then that I’d have some more gripes about how some people are using it, but I do, and, thus, this post.

I’ll ask the question directly of you; are you Twitter selfish? Some of you are, and I’m not calling anyone out. There are different degrees of selfish, some that are really irritating, some that are what they are. But they will probably tie in with the link to why I won’t follow some people on Twitter.

To start with, I get lots of people following me. I think I’m up around 1,650 at this juncture, give or take a few. Last week Twitter went through and cleaned out a lot of spam accounts, which dropped a lot of people from main Twitter users; I’m not sure how much I got hit, but mine is still pretty big.

What many of those people are hoping is that I’ll follow them; heck, at some point almost everyone wants to be followed. Almost, that is. One of my wife’s friends was over here two weekends ago and asked me about it. When I went to her account, she was stunned to see that messages she wrote to her son were visible. I told her everyone who followed her could see every message she writes to everyone unless she protected her updates. Instead, she went gonzo and deleted her entire account; so be it.

Anyway, I get notification of every person who’s newly following me; most people do. I go in and check out their Twitter page. I look at the messages to see if they actually ever talk to someone. Twitter gives you the first 20 initially; I’ll go through at least 60 messages to see if that person is engaging others in some fashion. If not, I’m not following them, plain and simple. Yes, it’s possible they’re putting out stuff I might be interested in. But if I can’t drop them a quick message and know that there’s a chance they might respond to me, I’d rather not have to deal with it.

I won’t follow someone who doesn’t show they’re participating in the Twitter experience at all. I can’t figure out why any legitimate person wants to follow so many people, yet never says anything to anyone. They’ve been on Twitter two months and have only written 2 or 3 messages, or possibly have never written anything at all. Nope; I’m not following them. They may continue to follow me, but I won’t reciprocate. Thing is, if they ever did write me, which wouldn’t be part of their pattern, I’d see it, and then I’d think about it. But until then, I’m not doing it.

Of course, last time I talked about this land grab for followers and how I didn’t support it, and that’s continuing. More and more people are sending out links saying “get 100 Twitter followers a day”. What the heck are most people going to do with that many followers a day?

Now, I’m not against lots of followers. I want lots of followers also, just like I want more RSS subscribers (and if you’re not following, I hope you do; easy, just look to the top right). But I have lots of things I want to share with people, from three blogs and two business websites. I actually like to talk to people on Twitter, which I do every day. I like to share things I find, and that others find, with those who are following me but not necessarily anyone else I’m either following or who’s following me. I like to be sociable.

And, really, that’s the crux of things. Twitter is called “social media”, and it is. But sociability isn’t a one way street. It’s not supposed to be about “me”, but about “we”. And, unless you’re a news service that I know isn’t a one person operation, that’s keeping me informed about what’s going on, I expect interaction of some sort, even if it’s not always with me. If that’s not going to occur, then I can learn about you in other ways. Heck, someone else is probably going to share your link, and I’ll see it that way if I’m interested. I don’t like selfish, and I’m an only child!

And there you go. What’s this, post #35 about Twitter? I’m sure there will be many more coming; Twitter doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.


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Two Interviews Of Me

I consider myself lucky to have the friends that I do. Sometimes it leads to some pretty nice stuff, I must say.

Of course y’all already know about my newspaper appearance. What many of you may not know is that I just had my second live online interview last night with Beverly Mahone of BAM Enterprises.

The first interview was back in January on the general topic of reinventing oneself, something I’ve become a master at. If you’d like to listen to that hour long interview, you can download the MP3 here.

Last night’s topic was something different. It was on social media and SEO for websites and/or blogs. We talked about all sorts of things, and it was another hour that went by way too fast. It always feels good when you can present some of your knowledge to a new audience, and they’re really interested in it. If you’re interested in listening to that one, you can download that MP3 here.

Truthfully, I’ve said a lot of those same things on this blog, but there’s a lot I have never covered here, which means I’ll have lots more to talk about; you poor folks! Hey, at least we have another relatively short post here. 🙂

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Don’t Forget Safe Mode

A few days ago, a friend called me, distressed because she couldn’t get her computer to do anything. She kept saying something about a program telling her she had multiple viruses and malware, and to buy something. I told her to stop, don’t do anything, and I’d be right over.

I got there, and she said her son admitted to downloading some online golf program from a site he’d never been to before. She then said she’d been trying to download an antivirus program, but she’d lost her internet connection. I told her that if she didn’t already have an antivirus program on her computer that it was too late.

I put in my USB drive and was able to move the programs I was going to try to run onto her desktop. However, none of my programs would open. I tried opening some things on her computer. The browser would open, but it wouldn’t access the internet. The explore window opened, but none of the programs would open. I couldn’t get the task manager or control panel to open. And I couldn’t get to the C prompt either.

I tried rebooting first, but to no avail. I then remembered to boot up into safe mode. That was smart, but none of the programs I needed to access were there. See, when you boot into safe mode, you’re suddenly someone else, probably the administrator, and the administrator didn’t have access to the desktop of the original user. So, I had to reboot normally, then move everything to the C drive, and reboot again into safe mode.

Once it was back up, I went to the C drive and decided to start with Stinger. It’s the quick down and dirty virus checker from McAfee, free always. The problem, though, is that I had a version from last September; you always need to keep up to date if you’re going to use Stinger. It found nothing, which I figured might happen.

Next I decided to run the major program, Combofix. A few months ago, I worked on one of my computers, and I was able to get rid of every virus and spyware/adware piece of junk except one Trojan that just wouldn’t go away. Running Combofix killed it. Usually it likes to access the internet while it’s doing its thing, but in this case, you can’t access the internet while in safe mode. But I knew I had the latest version, as I’d downloaded it before I went to my friend’s house, so I wasn’t worried about it.

I ran the program, and it took about 25 minutes. It needed to; it’s hard to believe, but in one download her computer ended up with almost 200 viruses and registry entries. You never know what you’re going to get if you load something and haven’t verified where it came from. But at this point the computer was pretty clean.

While still in safe mode, I went into the control panel, then into add/remove programs. I knew which programs were associated with the virus; I can’t tell you why, but I just did. I deleted every program, and since it couldn’t access the internet or give me any other grief, especially after the cleaning Combofix gave it, they all went away submissively.

I booted the computer system back into real time, and it came up with no issues except not having any protection. I decided to start off with Zone Alarm, which added a firewall to her computer. You can’t use Zone Alarm with Vista unless your computer is 32-bit, which mine isn’t. But it’s a great program, and fairly easy to use for the uninitiated. It’s always best to start by adding the firewall program first to block anything sneaky that might still be on the computer.

Then I put on AVG’s free antivirus program, and, because I know she and her family don’t have a real clue as to how to protect themselves, I added the security toolbar, which I wouldn’t use myself. Then, for a final bit of protection, I added AdAware for spyware/malware checking, and decided to go ahead and run that. It found 114 instances total of spyware and malware; I started thinking that maybe some of this stuff was there before today’s incursion.

However, after just about 4 hours, her computer was clean, and now it was protected. But it could have taken a heck of a long time if I hadn’t remembered safe mode. So, now you won’t forget it either. But protect yourselves!

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Things To Remember After You Change Your Theme

A couple of weeks ago, I decided the theme for my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, was kind of dark. That, plus the background for it was actually a template and not just a color, and I couldn’t come close to matching the template color when trying to set up my Adsense on it. So, I decided it had to be changed, and went with the one that’s there now.

I liked the theme because it was pretty clean, but things were off for some reason. I finally figured out that all the stuff I’d had on my previous theme, which had two right sidebars, was missing. I went into the Appearance areas, into the widgets, and saw that instead of just right and left, this new theme had an area that just said Sidebar, but it didn’t go anywhere. The theme I chose allows for different kinds of customization.

What I’d forgotten early on was that every time you change a theme, you need to go back to your old theme and copy any customization you made to it, and move it to the new theme. I did that, and everything looked good once more.

Then a few days ago I decided to check the stats on some of my websites, went to that one, and I didn’t have a single visitor. I knew that was wrong because I’d been getting comments. Then I remembered that I hadn’t transferred the Google Analytics code to the new theme either. That’s one of a couple of codes I have in my themes that I can’t just see by looking at my blog, which is why I’d totally missed it. Went back, copied that code, and all is right with the world once more.

It’s an important thing to remember to check all of your coding when you change your theme. You never know what important thing you might be missing until much later.

May Income Statistics – Nothing Special

Time for the monthly online income statistics. As I usually like to point out, these numbers aren’t only for my blog; otherwise I might never have anything to talk about. Instead, this is for anything I’ve done online.

Here are the actual numbers:

Adsense – $80.63
Paid Ads – $40.35
Link XL – $2.50
Infolinks – $.49
Total – $123.97

Less than either of the last two months, but I’m still encouraged by that Adsense figure. Overall, it means I’ll be getting a check at the end of this month, which means I’m now averaging a check at least every two months.

Where am I at this point? Well, I don’t really know. Truthfully, I think I’m doing something wrong as it comes to my Commission Junction stuff, but if I complete one particular project that I’m presently working on that might change a little bit within the next month or so; no, I’m not giving a heads up just yet, but y’all know me, which means I’ll be talking about it at some point.

And, as you see, I still don’t have a page rank, but my paid advertising figure went up; I find that kind of interesting. What I also find interesting is that my RSS subscribers have gone up, although it does change from day to day. In May, I actually had a couple of days where it showed me as having 89 subscribers; I’m still shooting for those 500 subscribers by the end of the year. Hey, we all have to have dreams, right?

So, let’s talk about traffic while I’m at it. I said that I was going to change the frequency of my posting on this blog and that we’d see what happened with traffic. Many of you who are regular visitors said you’d like this because it would give you a better chance to keep up with the content. Well, it’s been a failure, I have to say. Here are the numbers for the last three months:

March – 1,918 visits
April – 1,486 visits
May – 1,265 visits

This tells me that when I write more, obviously I get more visitors. Not only that, but I took a look at who’s been writing comments, and it seems that most of my formerly regular visitors and contributors haven’t been coming by lately, which means that if it weren’t for the few new visitors I might not have anyone left. Thus, it’s time to increase the number of posts once again, which I can easily do. Interesting experiment, though; I really hoped it would work, but nope, the “masses” have stopped speaking.

Overall, it does seem that revenue really is impacted by traffic, or lack thereof. I’ve noticed it on my medical billing site also, as it generates most of my Adsense revenue. When people come, I have great days, but when they don’t, nada. I hope to be doing some other things with that site also, since it’s my biggest cash generator, but I’m not quite sure what just yet.

So, there are the numbers; y’all can comment as you please. Heck, I just hope some of you come back. 🙂

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